The thought is that the door cracks open on October 31 and all the haunts that aren’t done can slip back in and do their work until the door slams closed again the night before May 1. Some pagans see it as one half of the year devoted to darkness, one half devoted to light. One half to living, one half to dying.
I don’t think it works that easy. We all have our own rhythms. At Thanksgiving, we were talking about May in our family, how it’s become the month of family deaths (and some births, obviously, or I would not be here typing this thing to you now). And clearly, if the door so firmly closes at the beginning of May for everyone, you’d not see so many of us spilling over in one direction or the other throughout the month.
But, my friends, I do think that December is a hard month, for the living and the dead–that time of year when our absenses from each other are the most obvious. Grandma will not make her cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast. You father will not stamp his feet in the doorway again to shake the snow loose. His daughter will not light the candles in the evening.
And yet, that longing is palpable isn’t it? From both sides. To do those things with each other, now, at this time of year.
I did a tarot card reading once that I still don’t know how to talk about. It wasn’t like I normally do tarot card readings; it was like they go in horror movies. Except that I guess it was only scary to me. The thing was the grief, just this whole-body, soul-shaking grief that wasn’t mine.
I don’t know if we ever learn better. I don’t know if we even go on. I just know that feeling does, even after the person whose grief it is has gone.
I read this over at Angel H.’s about the manager of a homeless shelter assaulting a woman and I got to the part where she reveals that this fucker had already served time for sexually assaulting another woman at that exact same shelter where he somehow was still the manager!!! and my brain just melted down.
What the fuckity-fuck-fuck?
You work at a homeless shelter. You sexually assault a woman. You go to jail. And then you…
…go back to work at that same homeless shelter?
How does that happen?
Where is the investigation into that?
The return of chest hair.
Mmm. Chest hair. How I’ve missed you.
Edited to add: Oops. Let’s try that again. I bring you… chest hair.
When I saw that Kate F-ing Harding had linked to Rachel, it was all I could do to not brag over at Shapely Prose about knowing Rachel!
So, even though I’m a heathen and we’re almost flat broke and our parents said “No Christmas presents” and the Butcher doesn’t have a job and paw’s run off and I’m real sick and the baby’s gonna starve to death, a girl’s still got to buy some Christmas presents anyway.
For the recalcitrant brother–jack shit. Which he will be relieved by because he’s not getting me jack shit either.
For the Butcher–opuntia ficus-indica seeds. I may have to cultivate them for him as he has never been able to grow cactus from seeds, but opuntia can grow outside here, which makes it a cool cactus in my book. Did I ever tell you about the huge opuntia growing along the fence of the church-yard which turns out to hold the remains of Robert Johnson? And you know what I say, good enough for Robert Johnson, good enough for me.
For the nephews–they’re all getting books on paper-airplane making. I will leave it to their own imaginations to figure out how to make said airplanes lethal.
For Mom–a stuffed frog for her collection. I now understand why people collect things: as a kindness for people who are obliged to give them gifts and have no idea what to get them.
For Dad–a thing called a thumb-piano. I don’t know, but it looked like something he’d have a good time with.
So, hurray! That’s done.
1. Why is this shocking?
2. Maybe I am just becoming a grouch in my old age, but I did not find the shoe incident funny. I found it pretty terrifying, actually, that a man could stand up and shout something and get two good tosses off at THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES while the President has to do his own defense.
I don’t care if our President is Bozo the Clown or that cat that is constantly shitting outside the litterbox or whatever other annoying scary thing you can think of, what if those had been, I don’t know, ceramic knives?
I don’t know. Maybe it will seem funny in a day or two but right now it just seems like everyone is laughing at the fact that we just watched a massive Secret Service failure.